Da Nang Air Base, Ann-MargretBob Hope ... and ... Ann-Margret

(Oh) Susie-Q ...  
by: Don Poss
© 1996

Đà Nẵng AB: Freedom Hill - 1966
On March 13, 1966, trooper Bob Hope brought his tour to Đà Nẵng Air Base. The stage was set up in a natural amphitheater at the base of Freedom Hill -- Hill 327. Our Air Force Air Police K-9 squad was scheduled for patrol around Đà Nẵng Airbase late that afternoon. With a little luck (actually, a lot of luck) we would get to see Ann-Margret ... and, oh yeah --Bob Hope.

      From the Đà Nẵng runway, you could see Freedom Hill Da Nang Air Base, F4 Phantom afterburners take off. about five miles and a stone-age away. Hope's show was to start around 1300 hours, but as weather, war, and destiny had it, he arrived LATE! We arrived early--the marines arrived earlier and were jammed into every square inch of the valley tighter than a wallet in a pit-bull's mouth. They had staked out perimeters, including claymores --well, almost anyway--and had a take no prisoners BORG mindset toward assimilating the atoms of any Viet Cong Air Force type pukes invading the new Republic of Ann-Margret.

      Rain had drenched the thousands of marines (heh-heh) and other squids hogging the best red-earth seats for ogling Ann-Margret and a gaggle of dancing legs. And worst of all, they actually seemed intent upon not sharing their spaces in brotherly inner-service bonding-harmony (as we would have done). Not to worry! As Airmen being naturally smarter than the average bear, jarhead, and squid (who'er barely smarter than a rock), we wore our military police Air Police helmets and waltzed right up to the front as if on duty. M.P.s and S.P.s ass/u/them/ed we were on-their-side (heh-heh) and were there to crack Air Force heads with gay abandon if any nasty Air Force tongues unrolled within ten meters of the stage.Da Nang Air Base, Ann-Margret USO
[Photo: Don, I am the Marine MP in front of Ann-Margret in the picture on your site, is there anyway to get a picture from you or somewhere else? 
Thomas J. Blagg (photo emailed to Tom)]

     Hours of waiting passed as a drizzle muddied the clay into a coagulated goo. Clutters of men would occasionally get up and leave as their sergeant cattle-prodded them to duty. When Bob Hope arrived, he was electrifying and quickly whipped the crowd into an American frenzy with homespun jokes, adlibbing as only the master-quipper could do. Today, Bob's jokes would be rated PG-13, as it was then ... but the innuendo and risqué implications merited a good-natured ban in twelve languages, and his lips would be sewn shut--behind his head!
Da Nang Air Base, Ann-Margret USO
      Unfortunately, our luck ran out too and duty called: we had to Dee-Dee back to base. We only caught a glimpse of a marine carrying Ann-Margret from the helicopter across the mud and to the stage (a perfect gentleman he was too ... and therefore an enlisted man).
      Ann launched right into the whirlwind pulsating (Oh) Susie-Q and rocked the valley with her American-woman-magic, stirring the crowd into a slathering hormone-testoseterone frenzy of mostly 19 and 20 year old men. One doggie had practically chewed the entire rim off his booney hat!

      Da Nang Air Base, Ann-Margret USO We turned to watch Ann perform, and for about two minutes of American beauty, the war was forgotten. Everyone fully understood just what was really worth fighting for. We didn't get to see Ann-Margret's performance, but we could hear the marines, soldiers, and airmen's screams and hooting five miles down the road (which truly was a trail of tears for us!).

      As dusk fell, I was patrolling along the Đà Nẵng runway--staring longingly toward Freedom Hill. And if the wind was just right ... Ohhhh ... Susie--Q!

Oh well. Ann ... thank you. You're still the same lady today as you were then. See you in my dreams ... and, oh yeah--Bob--thanks for the memories!

The show was fantastic! The escape the Bob Hope tour provided us in expectation for days before, and after, helped us keep in touch with what we were there for -- God, Country, apple pie ... and Ann-Margret!

From: "John Bircher"
[Military Order of The Purple Heart, a Congressionally Charter Veterans Service Organization]
Date: November 29, 2011 11:49:58 AM PST
To: Don Poss

Subject: War-Stories/VSPA: Bob Hope, 1966

Don:  This year, MOPH gave an award to Ann-Margret.  Below is an article that will appear in the next issue of the Purple Heart magazine.  Since I included a quote from you, I thought I would share it with you.  I hope you don’t mind!

Yours in Patriotism – John,

John E. Bircher III
Director, Public Relations
Military Order of the Purple Heart           
5413-B Backlick Road
Springfield, VA 22151
Tel: 352-753-5535
Cell: 352-250-9555
Fax: 352-753-5538
Email:  PublicRelations@PurpleHeart.Org
Web:  www.PurpleHeart.Org
Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/groups/PurpleHeartPR/


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